How and why does false information spread online?

How does false information/”fake news” spread through social media and web sites? And, why does it? We are told–frequently–by legitimate, trusted sources and the very people and organizations who create disinformation that a significant proportion of what we view is fake and has been deliberately created to sow discord and distrust, to make us not believe and to tear us apart. So, do we trust…

See more

Corruption and power: the connection

Was Lord Acton right? “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Or, is it more as John Steinbeck described “Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power”? Is there a connection between having power (in politics, government, business, etc.) and becoming or being corrupt? There seem to be examples all around us and, yet, we also see…

See more

Electric vehicles: benefits, technology, obstacles

Vehicles (cars and trucks) can be powered partially or wholly by electricity. “All-electric vehicles (EVs) have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. The vehicle uses a large traction battery pack to power the electric motor and must be plugged in to a charging station or wall outlet to charge. Because it runs on electricity, the vehicle emits no exhaust from a tailpipe and does…

See more

Update: the environmental effects of offshore drilling

2020 updates to the bibliography — The environmental effects of offshore drilling *Cordes, E. E., Jones, D. O. B., Schlacher, T. A., Amon, D. J., Bernardino, A. F., Brooke, S., . . . Witte, U. (2016). Environmental impacts of the deep-water oil and gas industry: A review to guide management strategies. Frontiers in Environmental Science. [PDF] [Cited by] “The industrialization of the deep sea is…

See more

Climate change and human behavior

In the face of the many and significant challenges of a changing climate, how and why do humans act the way they do? Does it take a crisis for people to actually do something? And, when the crisis passes, does the action stop? Are human beings, collectively, doomed to failure due to inaction, denial, greed, corruption, and, the most challenging barrier, outright fear? Quick bibliography–articles…

See more

Symmetry breaking and Biology

“During the latter half of the twentieth century, spontaneous symmetry breaking became important in biology. All organisms start off as highly symmetric entities, such as a single spherically symmetric cell. As the organism grows, this highly symmetric state becomes unstable, owing either to internal stresses and strains, or to influences from the environment. Enter spontaneous symmetry breaking: the organism will move to one of a…

See more